[Mariana Flores de Camino] Manuela Sáenz: Freedom and love

Manuela Sáenz was a woman who was born in Quito, Ecuador in 1797 and died in Paita, Peru, on November the 11th, 1856. She became one of the most important women who fought for the freedom of Latin America.  And this was thanks to her love for Simon Bolivar and her own ideas about freedom of her continent.

First of all, who was Simon Bolivar? He is an important figure in Latin American history because thanks to his effort and other people’s effort many countries of South America got their freedom. They avoid in many ways Spanish domination. He was a Venezuelan man, who led the libertarian movement of these countries.

Mariana Flores Melo - Venezuelan woman

Mariana Flores Melo – Manuela Saenz

Manuela Sáenz was a woman who always liked the ideas of freedom, and when he met him, the energy between both of them was inevitable. She was a woman who knew:

  • How to read,
  • How to write,
  • and how to pray.

She had the knowledge and she knew how to use it very well, and obviously that was delightful for a man like Bolivar. She was an energetic girl; she ideally conceives of Latin American independence and also takes an active part in the war:

  • She rides horses,
  • Drives weapons,
  • She is able to quell a mutiny in the square of Quito, etc.
Mariana Flores Melo - Manuelita Saenz and her lover

Mariana Flores Melo – Manuela and Bolivar’s portrait

She helped Simon Bolivar to keep calm in bad situations. The letters he sent to her demonstrate that he was deeply in love with her and he was hurt every time they had to separate. However, she was his liberator. She was the person he trusted despite everything that was happening in his life.

She was married before she knew Bolivar in 1822, but that didn’t care, because they got along very well. They were for each other.

In her last days, she continued keeping with her all Bolivar’s letters like gold. She got sick, and her body was burned for avoiding the spread of the sickness. Time later her remains were recognized by a jewel she always wore: a cross. This cross recognized her as the companion of the liberator.

  • Mariana Flores Melo


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